About the New Zealand Rail Maps project
The New Zealand Rail Maps project is creating large scale detailed topographical maps of the national railway network of New Zealand. It is an unofficial successor to the "New Zealand Railway and Tramway Atlas" as well as a number of publications and projects which have aimed to increase knowledge of the history of railway development in New Zealand.
The first development of this project began in 2008 and at that time made use of the Google Earth software package to create map details. This continued to be the key focus for about four years. However due to various limitations of Google's software, investigations were carried out into full GIS packages and eventually in mid-2012, the present development using QGIS software commenced. The result is that the overall focus has shifted from maps that can be viewed in a web browser, using Google Maps, into maps that will either be displayed as a set of fixed images, or in a printable PDF or hard copy book format.
The expectation is that 21 volumes will cover the entire country. Each volume will have approximately 130 pages and will include an index of all significant features such as stations, yards, bridges, tunnels etc, with key dimensions and dates included. The maps are based on Land Information New Zealand topographical data and incorporate key features that are present on general topographical maps, such as roads, waterways, contours and terrain, but are specialised for railway features and cover these in considerable detail that has not been provided on the scale of the whole of New Zealand before.
The development is supported by the New Zealand rail community via a number of forums and contributors. The project does not operate its own forums and makes use of other existing forums. This blog is the official public information website of the project.